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"Great is the Company of Women Who Proclaim the Glad Tidings!" (Psalm 68:11). Have you ever been so discouraged you wondered if God had abandoned you? Have your problems ever mounted so quickly that you questioned God’s faithfulness and power to save you? I imagine Christ’s disciples must have felt that way as they watched the Romans crucify Jesus. How confusing it must have been to watch Christ walk on water; turn water into wine, heal the ill, and also die a criminal’s death. Consider how difficult it must have been for Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother James to bring the spices to Christ’s tomb, resigned to say farewell to their beloved teacher—the man they thought was the Messiah. Can you visualize how unprepared these women must have been... Read more
As I write this, my sister is in labor, giving birth to a daughter. This child, whom none of her expectant family have yet laid eyes upon, has already showered us with an abundance of joy—not least because my sister had nearly given up hope of conceiving a child. When I see lived before me what the promise of a little girl can offer to a family, I shudder to remember the countless baby daughters who have been sacrificed because of their gender, left in the rubbish heaps of previous centuries to die of exposure in exchange for the “greater blessing” a brother would offer. I (unsuccessfully) try not to stand in judgment, because I cannot understand the grinding poverty and insurmountable social structures that drove past (and, dreadfully, still drives some present) par... Read more
“'Come now, let us reason together,' says the LORD" (Isa. 1:18 TNIV). How many of us long for critical thought and open discussion when exploring the gender issue in the church? Yet, how often do we hear radio shows, sermons, and lectures (even at a graduate level) where only one perspective is explored? Here is an example. A friend of mine attends a seminary that admits women, though the faculty aggressively promotes male authority in the church and home. As my friend said, “In nearly every class, regardless of the focus, the instructor manages to incorporate a theology of pink and blue—men are told they must be leaders in the church and the home (whether or not they’ve been gifted by God as leaders) and women are told they must submit to male au... Read more
In Australia today has been written in my diary as "Gender Awareness Day" but in many other countries it goes by the title above. We have permission to reprint this piece written by Ellen Alexander who serves the Lord in India and has been a speaker for CBE. It's not about flowers and chocolates Women are asking for respect and dignity - not just for a fortunate few, but ALL women. For equity and freedom to choose To be safe in the home and on the streets For their work and opinions to be valued For their needs at different stages to be considered For in their empowerment lies the empowerment of families, society and countries. We look forwward to a day when we don't need an International Women's Day When men and women will walk side by side, as Go... Read more
Have you ever been given an award for an important achievement and had an opportunity to thank people who had invested in your life? What if you were given that chance again, but this time you were asked to thank individuals whom you have never met personally, but who, nonetheless, served as significant mentors and role models? Are there people in your life who have contributed significantly to your vision and calling though you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting them personally? That is the purpose of history! Many women lack mentors who can model Christian leadership. That is why I celebrate mentors and role models from previous generations, trusting that their legacy will inspire audiences to new levels of courage and Christian service. Just last month I was lecturing to s... Read more
In order to evaluate an ideology it is a good idea to project it to its extreme end to see what it would look like were it brought to its logical conclusions. Most would have to agree, then, that the extreme end of the 'headship' model of marriage would be the physical, emotional, and mental abuse of the 'submissive' partner by the 'head.' It is well-documented that abuse of all kinds and to varying degrees occurs more in homes where the hierarchical model is practised. This model of marriage puts a huge responsibility on the wife to behave in such a way that her husband will be the 'loving, servant leader' he is encouraged to be. This, in itself, is nonsense, if the husband can only effectively be the leader if his wife allows him to and encourages him... Read more
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If they fall down, they can help each other up. But pity those who fall and have no one to help them up!" (Eccl. 4:9-10 TNIV). A famous preacher once said that the most terrifying word in English is the word “alone.” From our yearly conferences, to our publications, to our website, blog, and weekly newsletter, Arise, people tell us (often in tears) that our ministry keeps them going from week to week. Why? Because they know they are not alone. To enjoy the support of other Christians who value Scripture and read on its pages a call to gift-based, rather than gender-based, ministry is one of the most important services CBE offers. Several months ago I was in church and noticed a famil... Read more
I have a question about the translation of 1 Timothy 2:12. Click here to view the interlinear reading of this verse. At 2:12, there are three notable differences between the English interlinear underneath the Greek text, and the English translation on the right. Difference 1: The English interlinear is in the present tense, as indicated by the words ‘I AM permittING NOT-YET.’ But in the English translation on the right, the sense of ‘NOT-YET’ is not carried over. It makes a sentence that appears to deal with a particular moment in time sound like a command for all time. Why was it translated this way? Difference 2: The English interlinear translates authenein as ‘to be domineering’ but the English translation on the right translates... Read more
"...but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26). Last weekend CBE was preparing for our lecture, booth, and a community dinner at the Jubilee conference, sponsored by the Coalition for Christian Outreach. We were excited and thankful for the opportunity to engage thousands of new college students in Pittsburgh! As we approached the event, we prayed strenuously for God’s intervening presence. We asked God for clear communication—to infuse our words with power and grace. The day before the conference, one of our most strategic workstations crashed. This was incredibly discouraging because it was the fastest computer in the office, and the one most frequently used for our financial work. We felt our spirits sink, n... Read more
I grew up in patriarchal churches. I got used to hearing Scripture readings and having to internally translate “man” to “humanity” or “people;” to seeing women behind the piano but not the pulpit or conducting the children’s choir but not the adult musicians; to being allowed to ask public questions in my high school Sunday school class but then denied the same opportunity later when I became an adult. So when, a few years ago, all my searching and questioning finally produced a permanent shift to egalitarianism, the smallest acts of justice in the church were great sources of encouragement to me. At the time I was a member of a patriarchal but relatively supportive congregation, and when “liberal” forces within the congregation le... Read more